Disclaimer: I don't own BBC Merlin.
So here's my first magic revealed-ish story! All the other cool kids have done it haha.
This is in a bit different style than my other stories so I hope it worked out
They were running. But after a week at the hospitality of mercenaries they were not at their strongest. He was dragging Merlin behind him but the boy was weakening quickly. He stopped abruptly and let go of Merlin's wrist like he was burnt. The only sound was the wind sprinting through the trees. They both were panting tiredly as they stared at each other; Merlin looked scared and Arthur looked betrayed.
"You're a sorcerer," he spoke hollowly.
He couldn't believe it. Just half an hour ago one of their captors rose to Arthur's provocation and stabbed him with his sword. Then all of them were flying backward and Merlin rushed over already hissing words. Arthur could only stare as he was dying at the man he once thought of as friend used magic on him. Then it had felt like he was doused with cold water and the wound on his side stitched itself together. The mercenaries had screamed with rage and started towards them but Arthur was quicker. By reflex he sprang up and grabbed Merlin and started running.
"...Yes," Merlin answered him, causing Arthur to back away. "Arthur I-" he abruptly spun around at the sound of the mercenaries crashing through the trees.
"Go Arthur!" Merlin yelled at him, and then turned his back and spread his arms out, "go!" His friend shouted- sorcerer, sorcerer, sorcerer, traitor, traitor.
Then was running, pumping his legs as hard as they could go as mercenaries flooded out of the trees. Suddenly an arrow pierced his leg and brought him crashing down. This was it then, Merlin betrayed him. He turned on his knees to face his death only to be met with the sight of Merlin shoving a mercenary holding a loaded crossbow to the side and running towards him. His back was to the enemy and he knew exactly what he was doing, "Arthur!" The mercenary swerved his cross bow from Arthur to the closer target and fired. Merlin cried out and flew forward as it shot into his unprotected back- his arms flailing in front of him but failing to cushion his fall. Arthur felt the air rush from his lungs and blood pound in his head, his ears rang and he did not hear the thumping of the knights ride into the clearing. He did not register that they had finally found them.
"-go, we need to go!" another mercenary shouted to the other-murderer- killer! They started to run away but before they got far, they were trampled under knights' horses.
Arthur crawled to his unmoving traitorous best friend before he knew what he was doing.
"Merlin! Merlin!" he called and gently turned him on his side. The sorcerer was just blinking wearily at nothing. His blue eyes found Arthur and he smiled painfully.
"Always knew- I was going to- die -for you," he panted.
"No, you're going to live. Heal yourself goddamnit!" Merlin continued to smile stupidly at him.
"Don't know how," his smile didn't waver.
"But you healed me!"
"Self healing's different...M'cold." Arthur looked down horrified at Merlin. He didn't know how to heal himself? Only others? What kind of sorcerer- It was so typical!
He didn't hear them, he could only focus on Merlin's pained gasps. "You will be okay, you'll be alright!" Arthur whispered and ran his hand through Merlin's hair and down the side of his face.
"Ar-thur," Merlin groaned, "hurts." Arthur felt tears sting his eyes.
"Help him!" Arthur screamed at the knights converging on them. He grabbed Merlin's wrist to find his pulse slow and weak.
"-thur? Don'wan'..." thump...thump...thu...thump...
Where were the knights? Arthur couldn't lift his head to check- his eyes were glued to his dying friend below him.
"Wan' s-ay, proec' you."...thu...thump... ...
Merlin was fading, he was trying to say something.
"-ur, Arth-" ...thump... ...thu... ... ... ...
... ... ... ... ...
He gasped and sat bolt upright in his bed. Bed? He gave a shuddering breath in relief.
"Arthur? Are you alright?" Merlin asked. Arthur whipped his head to the side to find his servant standing there with a puzzled look on his face. Alive. "I couldn't get you to wa- "
The prince seized Merlin's wrist and felt for a pulse. His strong heart beat calmed him down- it was strong, it was there.
"Arthur?" Merlin asked slowly.
He held on for a bit more before letting go of Merlin's wrist. He scrubbed his face with his hands.
"I'm fine," he said hoarsely.
"You don't look fine."
He couldn't get Merlin's words out of his head...always knew I was going to die for you...want to stay and protect you- or something like that. Arthur looked to the real Merlin who was starting to look worried. Things that he refused to think of before came crashing into his brain like lightning and his chest tightened...the past four years with Merlin, going through unbeatable odds and always winning. Seeing magic but not understanding it, not believing it. Ever since Merlin had known him he must have been saving his life- before, Arthur thought he could count the events on his one hand but now he knew he would need many. 'I'm happy to be your servant, till the day I die,' Merlin had said once. He died in his dream, trying to get to Arthur to protect him. Leaving himself stupidly vulnerable, always risking his life.
Arthur looked at Merlin's lips moving and then his chest. Every breath he took in Camelot was an axe over his head. Every bloody second of every bloody day Merlin was by his side. To what? Protect him? Why? He risked his life by being here to keep on protecting him? That much was clearly obvious.
But magic was evil. Or that was what he kept telling himself. Look at Morgause and Morgana and what they had done to Camelot. The undefeatable immortal army that they somehow beaten was a result of magic. Arthur didn't even know how that hap- Merlin. He and Lancelot were supposed to go after the warning bell. He thought they had failed. How could he have been so stupid for not seeing it? Merlin must have done something. The warning bell was just a ruse. But the place was swarming with the immortal soldiers, what was he thinking? But he saved Camelot. He saved Camelot by going against an immortal army. By himself.
"How could you have been so stupid!" he yelled at Merlin.
"What?" Merlin asked him and backed up from the suddenly fuming prince in front of him.
"You are completely rubbish with a sword, did you want to die!" Arthur grabbed Merlin's collar and shook him.
Arthur startled awake again and flung his arms out to keep him steady. He frantically thought of his dream...or dreams. As his heart rate calmed he stared up at his ceiling and blinked at the darkness.
As the hours passed he realized four things. One- Merlin might be a sorcerer. Two- Merlin was an idiot. Three- Merlin was his friend (of course he was). Four- it maybe wasn't even luck at all.
Five things. Five- He would keep an eye on Merlin. And wait.
After all he only had his deliberations for proof.
A week passed and Arthur was ready to rip his hair out. He was seeing magic now where there surely wasn't any. Merlin couldn't have magic. But that was what he had been repeating to himself constantly this past week. He was being paranoid; because construction making minute progress throughout the night was perfectly normal without people to do it, or it not raining for a week straight when this season it rained nearly every day, and it was normal that Merlin could do every one of his chores, run around for Gaius, and help with the rebuild effort. And Merlin's exhausted face was perfectly normal too, just as tired as everyone else was-not more. Of course it was normal, there was nothing magical about any of it; he was imagining things.
Another week passed and his nightmares became of Merlin revealing himself as a sorcerer. In every dream he was protecting Arthur and when he realized the horrible truth that Merlin used magic he would wake up. This was not conducive to his every day activities and people were starting to notice. But he couldn't help it. Events in his life the past four years suddenly made sense if Merlin was the one protecting him all this time. He punched his pillow in frustration, he couldn't think like that- he could not suspect his friend of sorcery (who was he fooling?). Suddenly the door was creaking open and opportunity presented itself.
He lay in his bed feigning sleep. Maybe Merlin would reveal treacherous traits. However the only trait the servant showed was clumsiness, which was only treacherous to himself. Arthur heard boots skid on the floor followed by a thump and then a curse with more thumps as Merlin did his best to not fall. Arthur deduced he was unsuccessful when with a muffled squawk Merlin tumbled to the floor.
The prince was biting his lip to keep from laughing and was doing well until he heard a resigned sigh from the floor. Arthur let out a loud snort and started to emit high cackles of laughter. He sat up in his bed to see Merlin scramble up and pretend he didn't just fall over which only caused Arthur to laugh harder. How could he have ever expected Merlin to be a sorcerer?
The servant's face tinted red and he started to blame Arthur for his fall. He couldn't really make out the words though and his gestures were becoming blurry due to the tears welling in Arthur's eyes. When he finally calmed down Merlin was long gone.
He giggled to himself as he picked at the breakfast Merlin had brought up for him. He would have to find Merlin and tease him some more.
Throughout the day he did just that and he was only too happy to take the boy out for a short patrol through the forest. He knew the day was going too well. Not even half an hour outside of the city gates, a boar came crashing out of the trees and straight toward him. It was too close for Arthur to do anything but register surprise- his next thought was that Arthur Pendragon was going to get mauled by a boar and die, which wasn't exactly glory filled.
But then with an almighty crash that shook the earth an oak tree fell right in front of him, blocking him from the boar which scampered away startled. His first action was not even to check for injuries- but after two weeks of suspecting his servant of sorcery, he whipped around to look at Merlin. The boy was looking between the tree line and the fallen oak triumphantly. There was no mistaking it, the look on Merlin's face was proud as if he had done something praiseworthy.
He was a sorcerer? But- this morning... and he just saved him. And he hadn't been assassinated yet. Merlin noticed that he was staring and immediately wiped the look off his face. Arthur saw panic flash in his eyes before Merlin grinned, "Lucky that tree fell Arthur, or you would have been bore fodder right now."
He couldn't look at Merlin right now so he looked back at the fallen tree. Yes, lucky the perfectly healthy tree just so happened to fall an inch from him and save him from certain death. Suddenly every yellow flower he seen peeking through the trees reminded him of the morteus flower, or every fallen branch a lucky time where an enemy was taken out by one.
He was beginning to think it wasn't so preposterous after all. Merlin was a sorcerer. No. He didn't have enough proof.
"Let's go back," Arthur spun around and headed back to Camelot. Not even saying anything about what just happened. Before he knew it, he was sitting on his bed alone. He looked around to find his servant nowhere in sight, and just before his mind jumped to a wrong conclusion he noticed it was dark out. He just wanted to go to sleep now, he would think about Merlin having magic in the morning. But just like every night of the week, he had another nightmare.
The next morning Merlin was late as always, but Arthur found that he didn't mind. It gave him time to think. He came to the realization that he might have knowingly been harbouring a sorcerer for two weeks. His father wouldn't like that. The thought lacked energy. Last night Merlin had died for him again, not just once. Arthur had lost count and when he woke up retching hours ago and he had no desire to go back to sleep. He had never spent so much time reflecting on the past. He jumped as the silence he had gotten used to was shattered by the door crashing open and his servant/ friend/ sorcerer strolled through.
"Here you go your pratness, a nice big platter of ham, sausage, bread, cheese, some fruit, and your favourite...pickled eggs! And cider too because you were such a sour puss last night," Merlin's voice called merrily and he set the expansive platter on the table.
Arthur sat up and was more relieved than he cared to admit to see Merlin alive and well. He looked to his breakfast and his eyes widened- maybe he should always be in sombre moods just so Merlin would try to cheer him up with more breakfast. And cider.
"I know I'm late but you'll forgi- blimey Arthur, did you get any sleep last night?" Merlin placed his hands on his hips and raised his eyebrow at him.
Arthur's blue eyes found Merlin's and he thought of something. His five deliberations hadn't changed much- there were only a few minor corrections.
One- Merlin was a sorcerer. Two- Merlin was his friend. Three-he wouldn't tell Merlin. Four- he would keep an eye on Merlin. Five- Merlin was the most loyal idiot he ever met.
Oh wait. Six- He was lucky to have said loyal idiot as his best friend.
And seven- He would keep the magic secret.
Not sure how I feel about this one but I hope you enjoyed it.
Thanks for reading, and please review :)